COVID-19 | Limited campus operations during shelter-in-place order

March 17, 2020

This message was sent to all students, faculty, and staff on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

CSUMB is working closely with public health officials to assess the evolving situation with COVID-19. As many of you know, today, the Monterey County Health Department confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Monterey County and issued a notice of “shelter in place” for Monterey County residents.

We will be providing substantially more guidance for faculty, staff, and students in the coming days, but in response to the change in status prompted by the “shelter in place” order, we felt it appropriate to provide some updates on issues of immediate concern. Underlying all of these is the precept that our primary concern must continue to be for the health and safety of the students, faculty, and staff at CSUMB.

The first thing we need to convey is that the “shelter in place” order is an Order issued under the authority of California law. Residents of Monterey County (including all students housed at CSUMB) are required to comply and it is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order.

CSUMB’s mandate in the face of the “shelter in place” order is to continue to lower the density of the on-campus population and reduce the potential of spreading COVID-19. To that end, the following changes are effective immediately:

Because of the needed time for preparation, the start date for alternative instruction is moved from Friday, March 20th to Monday, March 23rd. Additionally, all academic instruction, including labs and studio classes, will move to alternate modalities when classes resume on March 23rd. CSUMB students should plan to attend the remainder of the spring semester virtually, receiving instruction at their permanent home residence. This now includes labs, studio classes, and any heretofore face-to-face form of instruction.

Our campuses must significantly reduce student and employee populations, including campus housing communities.


Students are strongly encouraged to return home as soon as possible, and campus housing will facilitate the quick and orderly departure of students from campus housing. As per current refund policies, students who leave will obtain prorated refunds for housing and meal plans (although some procedures will be modified to comply with Shelter in Place rules). Residence halls will remain open and operational with mandated social distancing, and students who feel safer in university housing will be allowed to stay on campus. Be advised, food service is likely to experience some reduction in service in terms of venues and hours of operation, but CSUMB will continue to provide a more limited form of food service to students remaining on campus. Effective tomorrow, March 18th, the CSUMB Student Center will be closed, and Starbucks will be closed. It is unlikely that these venues will reopen before April 9th or the lifting of the “shelter in place” order.

University employees

All faculty and staff who have been requested to work remotely should continue to work remotely through April 9th or until the “shelter in place” order is lifted. Employees will receive email instructions on remote work arrangements and procedures. Employees who were notified they are essential on-campus staff (need to come to campus for work) should continue to report to work on campus, observing social distancing techniques, and heightened personal hygiene procedures. Campus will continue to operate on a limited basis, and most university buildings will be closed. All emergency personnel will remain in place to maintain a safe campus community. There will be updates forthcoming on issues such as administrative leave.

Emergency Notification

The university is required to issue a notification due to the two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monterey County.

The CDC states that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person and between people who are in close contact with one another, within about 6 feet. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection.

The Monterey County Health Department recommends that the best way to prevent infection with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses is to take everyday, sensible steps, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay at least 6 feet away from ill individuals.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay at least 6 feet away from ill individuals.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Stay updated on the COVID-19 situation as it evolves on the CSUMB webpage and from public health agencies, including the CDC.

We appreciate the community’s flexibility and understanding as we adapt to a rapidly changing environment. We understand there are many unresolved questions associated with these latest measures. We will endeavor to communicate frequently with the CSUMB community as we flesh out the details and as new developments arise.

Coronavirus Information webpage